Lancaster schoolboy rescues children from river Lune

A 12-year-old boy made a daring rescue after two younger children got into difficulties while swimming in the River Lune.

Thursday, 5th July 2018, 10:00 am
Updated Thursday, 5th July 2018, 3:14 pm
Thomas Burrow, aged 12, rescued a five year old boy from the river Lune.

Brave schoolboy Thomas Burrow, who attends Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy, jumped into the river to help the children while swimming at the Crook O’ Lune near Caton on Sunday July 1.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has this week warned of the dangers of swimming in open water.

Thomas had got out of the water to dry off, but seconds later found himself back in the river coming to the rescue of a younger boy and girl who had got into serious difficulties.

This picture of the aqueduct was taken after sunrise at the Crook o' Lune bridge by Spencer Ross,

Thomas’ mum Karen, who was at the river with her son and her other children at around 4pm, said she was very proud of Thomas for his quick thinking, and wanted to warn people of the dangers of swimming in the river.

She said: “It just surprised me how quickly it happened.

“We were just out with the children and the dog for a wander.

“Everyone was playing about and Thomas was at the side of the water.

Thomas Burrow, aged 12, rescued a five year old boy from the river Lune

“There were other children jumping off a rock.

“There was a boy around the age of five and Thomas saw the children jumping off.

“The boy jumped off and he wasn’t able to touch the bottom of the river.

“There was another girl aged around seven and the boy grabbed her and was trying to keep himself out of the water by holding on to her, but he was pushing her under and they were both going under the water.

“I heard the girl’s mum shouting for the boy to let go, and then Thomas just jumped in and grabbed the boy, and pulled him to the water’s edge.”

Thomas, a former Dolphinholme Primary School pupil, said he acted without thinking.

He said: “I was jumping off the rock myself, and I came out of the water to get dry.

“Then I saw what was happening and jumped in and grabbed the boy and swam around the corner with him to where his mum was.

“I just felt I needed to get in there and get him out.

“I didn’t even think about it I just said to him, ‘Come on buddy, it’s okay’.”

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has recently visited Ripley to warn of the dangers of swimming in open water.

Karen, who said she would now be taking her children to open water swimming lessons, added: “It was lucky Thomas was there. It doesn’t bear thinking about what could have happened.

“The little boy was a bit shocked but otherwise okay I think.

“I was so proud of my son for doing it and using his initiative to assess what was happening, even though he could have put himself in danger.”

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service area manager Tony Crook said: “It is so important to remind people to stay safe near water, especially at this high-risk time of year.

“We’ve been seeing very warm temperatures and lovely sunny days recently which understandably makes our open water sites appear a tempting way to cool off.

“However we would urge all members of the public, but particularly young people that are approaching their summer break, to be mindful of the dangers open water sites pose.

“Our crews are well aware of the dangers of open water following on from the tragic deaths of James Goodship, Miracle Godson and Dylan Ramsay in recent years.

“We are only too happy to be involved in working with schools to help spread our water safety messages as far and wide as we can.”

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service says that during the school holidays, and particularly in hot weather, increasing numbers of children are drowning. On average, there are 50 of these tragedies each year across the UK. The water is often deeper than people think, and the cold temperature can quickly cause cramp and breathing difficulties. It may contain hidden rubbish and debris such as shopping trolleys and broken glass which can cause injuries and drowning. Sometimes it is polluted and can make people very ill.